Friday, October 14, 2011

Classics: SG1 6:14 - Smoke and Mirrors

Overall Rating: 8.0

I stand by my annoyance with the NID plots in general, but this is an example of how to do the NID "right" (and later the Trust).  The NID episodes that involve very personal stakes for SG-1 or Hammond...are gold.  The ones that involve NID people being evil and we're just there to foil them?  BOOOOORRRRING.

Plot Synopsis:

The full summary of Kinsey's good fortune (and Jack's rotten lot in life) can be found here, courtesy of the Stargate Wiki.

The Skinny:

As i hinted at in the opening remarks, I've never found the NID stories that don't center on the SGC personnel very interesting - but when the rogue NID make things personal for Jack, Hammond or Teal'c...I tend to have a better reaction.  I think because I've never really seen the NID's bad activities as terribly threatening to the larger mission of the SGC unless they were screwing with our heroes directly.  They're more like a minor annoyance than an arch-villain.  But this episode does make things personal for Jack and for the entire team as a result.  Well...except Jonas, who is, thankfully, significantly downplayed here in favor of Teal'c being awesome and Carter being all 007.

The political intrigue is well handled here as well...what with Kinsey going from thorn in our side to strange ally and the NID going from a group philosophically opposed to peaceful SGC policies regarding Earth defense to a splinter cell interested mostly in profit.  That's a lot more interesting - it's a shame they never really devoted much time to that angle...the trust got busted pretty early in the 8th season...they didn't have time to mature.  It's also a shame that they wussed out and had Kinsey as VP, rather than winning the election...because that would have been a hell of a lot more fun to deal with later on.  But hey...none of those things are the fault of this episode.  It did some good world-building and kept us all interested.

This episode will forever win for two scenes...Teal'c staring at a man until he cracked like an egg (LOL) and Carter busting the "committee" a la 007.  That's good TV.

Writing: 8.5

For an NID side-step from the main storytelling arcs concerning the safety of Earth, this one was pretty snappy.

Acting: 8.5

Ronny Cox was his usual impressive self, and all of the regulars seemed a notch sharper than usual.

Message: 7.0

I certainly agree that civilian oversight of the military without transparency is very dangerous...and that the NID would be VERY prone to evil conspiracies since they are not accountable to the law (really) and yet have all of the same information that SG-1 does.  That does not, somehow, seem like a good arrangement.

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